Energy crisis: PM to inaugurate 100MW solar energy project

Published: May 5, 2015
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The Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park has been completed at a cost of $131 million in one year. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park has been completed at a cost of $131 million in one year. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: A 100 megawatt (MW) solar energy project is being inducted into the national transmission grid on Tuesday (today). Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will preside over the induction ceremony. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, too, will be present.

The Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park has been completed at a cost of $131 million in one year.

“The project was scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2014. However, it was delayed after the Chinese firm granted the contract failed to fulfill the criteria during the due-diligence process carried out by Punjab government,” an energy department official said.

The Punjab government had announced plans to establish the Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park over an area of 10,000 acres in Bahawalpur district. The Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park Company was then registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

In October 2013, a BS-19 Pakistan Administrative Services officer, Najam Ahmad Shah, was appointed chief executive officer of the company. The company invited expressions of interest for the project. As many as 12 companies applied for pre-qualification. Three of these were shortlisted. Chinese company, Tbea, was then awarded the contract.

“The government invested $131 million in the project. The machinery was imported. The construction has been completed and is in the commissioning process,” Shah said. He said that the project was completed in 12 months, which was less than the benchmark fixed by the NEPRA. “The project was financed by Punjab government and a commercial bank. Ground breaking of the project was held last year on May 9,” Shah added. He said that it would improve the provincial share in electricity allocation.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2015. 

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Pakistani
    May 5, 2015 - 9:12AM

    solar energy is still expensive. 131 million $ for a 100 megawatt? seriously?
    We should look at the conventional means of generating electricity by building more dams.Recommend

  • Asad Ali
    May 5, 2015 - 9:27AM

    The negative aspect of this project is that Bank of Punjab was coerced to cough up 100% cost of this project under immense pressure of CM Punjab because the Chinese EPC who earlier promised to bring finance from China fail to deliver on its promise. Sluggish oil prices also rubbing salt into open wounds as the cost of electricity per kwh via Solar power is way higher hence not feasible.Recommend

  • NS
    May 5, 2015 - 9:31AM

    Good work NS, it is not 100 MW that makes a difference, it is the successful completion of the project and the promise of remaining 900 MW by chinese investment that will make a significant difference. Step in the right direction Recommend

  • Farhan
    May 5, 2015 - 9:45AM

    Whatever he does but he has stolen public mandate Recommend

  • Khan Gul
    May 5, 2015 - 10:04AM

    Why a private limited company was created for this project? Why couldn’t it be handled by any existing government department? something seems fishy for me.Recommend

  • Ahmad Saeed
    May 5, 2015 - 10:08AM

    when gov inaugurates people complain its too expensive should have gone for the cheaper options when gov shelves the solar and wind for being expensive ppl complain gov is insane future is solar and wind.Recommend

  • Green Energy
    May 5, 2015 - 10:19AM

    Its one step forward to have green energy projects introduced in country a long with R&D and technology. $131 million is once off cost (Qauid-i-Azam Solar Park Company) – After that company can keep on generating energy and sell it to the national grid and keep on earning profit a long with share price if listed in stock exchange. Solar panel these days comes with 25 years warranty. Solar is green energy, fast to setup, not yet proven against the nature environment like wind energy.Recommend

  • Humza
    May 5, 2015 - 10:37AM

    Haters will continue to hate but no one can deny that Shahbaz Sharif continues to work tirelessly to improve the overall condition of Punjab. That;s why Punjab remains the best run, stable and progressing province in the country.Recommend

  • Lord of the Ring
    May 5, 2015 - 10:47AM

    It’s only a matter of time that ANP and Sindi nationalist blackmailers would be

    howling against this project crying that Punjab is usurping

    KPK and Sind’s sunlightRecommend

  • Zaka
    May 5, 2015 - 10:51AM

    @Farhan: So you think. I voted for PMLn and am proud to have done so. Good work team NS. Let haters hate:)Recommend

  • Adeel
    May 5, 2015 - 11:13AM

    Its a positive step for sure, Govt should keep pumping more energy projects as well as Infrastructure & the opponents should not cry on every project, lets keep politics aside and wait for next elections, till than support development for the sake of poor people of Pakistan,the Solar & Wind projects are fastest in results & cheap as compared to Furnace Oil, Indian Gujarat has implemented larger Solar Projects which are very successful.Recommend

  • Ibby
    May 5, 2015 - 1:13PM

    It is not expensive when you consider the fact the 100 megawatts as 131 million means 1,000 Megawatts at 1.31 Billion dollar. And 4,000 to 5,000 Mega watts can be achieved in 5 to 6 Billion dollar rage.

    This is actually cheaper than Hydroelectric dams with 4,000 to 5,000 megawatts = capacity of a mega hydroelectric Dams which can cost close to 10 Billion Dollars and constructed in 10+ Years with feasibility studies alone taking 1 to 2 years. Plus lost economic productivity due to unavailability of electricity and cost can easily reach 20 to 30 Billion dollar lost to Economy.

    Why doesn’t anyone in the gov’t think about this. Recommend

  • Muzammil
    May 5, 2015 - 7:26PM

    What a farce. Why have we forgotten the so puffed up 400 MW nandipur power project? They are just playing it to the gallery. The end result is just squa7.Recommend

  • woody
    May 6, 2015 - 12:57AM

    @Ibby: You forgot that economic life of solar farm is significantly shorter than life of dam – and dam also provides other benefits such as flood control, agriculture, etc.Recommend

  • Zaid
    May 6, 2015 - 1:31AM

    @Muzammil:
    For your information Nandipur is operational. Please get your facts straight before commenting or else you are spreading lies.Recommend

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